I committed myself to writing a prayer in response to each of the spiritual challenges that Priscilla Shirer listed in Fervent: A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer. I considered skipping a prayer on purity because at this stage of my life, the issues Shirer mentioned aren’t my issues – the moral compromise, the unhealthy habit, the enticing addiction, the allure toward sexual impurity. Still, I found myself reflecting on the impacts of sexual impurity on my extended family and myself and I found myself praying Psalm 51:10.
Strategy 7 – Against Your Purity
He tries to tempt you toward certain sins, convincing you than you can tolerate them without risking consequence, knowing they’ll only wedge distance between you and God (Isaiah 59:1-2)PRISCILLA SHIRER
As Priscilla wrote, giving into temptation is never harmless. “The waves of your choice will ripple outward into your heart, mind, soul, and body, possibly even to future generations.” I’ve witnessed the consequences of sexual impurity in my own family. A marriage shattered by infidelity. Children growing up without a father. A mother making choices without considering the impact her decisions will have on her children. Teenage pregnancies and marriages doomed to failure. Broken families. Broken hearts.
Yes, the impacts of our choices go beyond our bodies. When I was a young woman, I succumbed to temptations of the flesh. I engaged in mental gymnastics and tried to justify my sin, even trying to bargain with God. My disobedience wedged a distance between us. My Father’s face was hidden from me. When I prayed, it felt like He did not hear me.
Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.Isaiah 59:1-2 (NIV)
Now that I am older and wiser, my temptations are the temptations of a wayward heart. I know that some of my thoughts and feelings are not compatible with a heart that belongs to God. Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.
Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.2 Timothy 2:22
Before I bring my need, I bring a grateful and contrite heart. Thank you for watching over me and protecting me when I was young and foolish. Thank you for being the God of second chances! You are a God of mercy and I love you with all my heart.
Lord Jesus, you have shown me the blessing of a pure heart. Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God. I want to be more like you. You taught me that a good person produces good out of the treasure of her heart. When I say something that is unkind, when I am impatient with others, when I judge others, I am not being the person you have called me to be.
Father, may the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you. Let no unwholesome talk come out of my mouth but only what helps to build others up. May my words benefit anyone who listens.
Father, rid me of all bitterness, rage, and anger. When my thoughts turn dark, may I think instead about whatever is good, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – about anything that is excellent and praiseworthy!
Father, thank you for forgiving my sins. I am clean because of the words you have spoken through my Savior. Savior, I pray that your words remain in me so that I remain in you and bear good fruit. Cultivate in me the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, so that I always keep in step with the Spirit.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Lord, create in me pure motives, pure desires, pure thoughts. Lord, I want to store so much of your goodness in my heart that it overflows and pushes out all impurities. May I be kind and compassionate, forgiving others just as you forgave me. May I love others as you love me, even those who are hard to love.
Here’s my heart, oh take and seal it. Seal it for Thy courts above
Psalm 51:10, 17